With today's modern computers, running 64-bit version of Windows is the smart choice if you want faster performance and the capability to run games and multi-media memory thirsty applications.
And now that operating systems, such as Windows 7, 8, and newer versions are fully 64-bit capable, more and more applications are also becoming 64-bit compatible, making the choice to run 64-bit Windows a no brainier.
But, you may have noticed over the past few years, advancements with CPU capabilities have become light years ahead of it's time. Which means, we are are able to stretch the use of our computer hardware well beyond the typical life span.
And because of this, you are left wondering if your Computer hardware is 64-bit compatible.
So instead of plunking down hard earn cash for a new Computer, here's how you can easily check, which may save you money in the long run.
Since there are several ways to check, I'll show you two of the simplest ways to not only identify if your computer processor is 64bit capable, but if you are currently running 64-bit or 32-bit Windows.
The Simple Way
The utility I am going to show you will run on just about any version of Windows including XP, Vista, 7 and 8.
It's called 64-bit Checker (appropriately) written by IgorWare.
The best feature of 64bit Checker….no installation is required. It's truly a portable utility, which means for you geeks out there it can run straight from your USB drive.
Once you have downloaded 64bit Checker, and saved it to your desktop, just double click on 64bit-checker.exe to run it.
You should see something similar to the following images.
In the above screen shot, this computer processor is not 64-bit compatible and the current version of XP is 32-bit
While this computer shows the processor is 64-bit compatible, and the version of Windows 7 is 32-bit and would be able to run a 64-bit version of Windows.
The Other Way
If you prefer not to download the above utility, and rather use Windows built in utilities, just follow these steps.
Windows Vista, 7 or Higher
- Click the Start button and in the search box, type performance. In the list of search results under Control Panel, click Performance Information and Tools.
- In Windows 7, click View and print detailed performance and system information.
NOTE: For Vista, click View and print details
In the System section, you can see what type of operating system you're currently running next to System type, and whether or not you can run a 64-bit version of Windows next to 64-bit capable. (If your computer is already running a 64-bit version of Windows, you won't see the 64-bit capable listing.)
First check to see if the operating system is running 32-bit or 64-bit version of Windows.
- Click Start then click Run and type sysdm.cpl, and then click OK.
- Click the General tab. The operating system is displayed as follows:
For a 64-bit version operating system: Windows XP Professional x64 Edition Version < Year> appears under System.
For a 32-bit version operating system: Windows XP Professional Version <Year> appears under System.
If your system is 64-bit, obliviously your CPU supports 64-bit OS. If it's 32-bit, the following steps will show how to determine if your CPU is 64-bit capable.
- Click Start then click Run and type regedit, and then click OK
- Expand HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\HARDWARE\DESCRIPTION\System\CentralProcessor then click 0.
Make note (write down) the Data column for ProcessorNameString and close Regedit.
Shown In the screen shot below, mine is Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU E8400 @ 3.00GHz. (the information you will see is the processor type in your computer.
Now open your browser, go to Google and enter the information you wrote down.
In the search results, depending on your processor manufacture, you should see a listing for either Intel or AMD, that you can visit which will list the specifications for your processor
Look for Instruction Set. It will say either 32-bit or 64-bit.
If you discover that your CPU is 64bit capable, you probably just saved your self some money and can continue to use it and can go with a version of Windows 64-bit.
To really make sure, it's a good idea to download and run the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor before you begin the upgrade process.
It scans your PC for potential issues with your hardware, devices, and installed programs, and recommends what to do before you upgrade.
You can download the Upgrade Advisor from Microsoft site.